Insalata caprese meaning “Salad of Capri” or caprese salad is a simple Italian salad made of sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella (preferably buffalo mozzarella), and basil leaves. It is seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. It is supposed to represent the colors of the Italian flag, that is red, white and green. In Italy, it is usually served as an antipasto (starter) and not as a contorno (side dish).
My brother has come on a vacation from Germany and got me an array of cheeses that aren’t easily available in India, like camembert and emmentaler. One among that beautiful array is fresh mozzarella, something which is quite difficult to find and even if it is available, it is quite expensive. The first thing that came to my mind was a fresh and delicious caprese salad. I had fresh basil and tomatoes at hand so I thought to make this quickly and relish the fresh mozzarella.
Sometimes, balsamic vinegar is drizzled over it and I actually prefer the addition of balsamic vinegar as it compliments the tomato and basil and also cuts through the richness of mozzarella. It is extremely easy but requires the usage of fresh mozzarella. I know that it has been a very long times since I posted and I’m sorry for that as I was held up with exams, so please excuse that.
Ingredients: (serves 3)
- Fresh mozzarella cheese- 250 grams (This is the weight of the mozzarella on it’s own without the weight of the brine. With the brine it is ideally 500 grams)
- Ripe tomato- 1 large, round or 2 medium sized tomatoes
- Basil leaves- 10-12
- Olive oil- 2 teaspoons
- Balsamic vinegar- 1 teaspoon
- Salt- to taste
- Coarsely ground black pepper- to taste
Firstly, remove the mozzarella from the brine and make sure you wash off the excess brine and lightly pat it with a kitchen towel. Make sure you do this very gently. Slice the mozzarella into about 1/4 inch thickness and set aside. Similarly, slice the large tomato into about 1/4 inch thickness. Wash the basil leaves and pat dry. Arrange the slices of mozzarella, tomato and leaves of basil in an alternating manner and overlapping one another to form a circle.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve! Mix while eating and add more salt and pepper if needed as per your taste. 🙂